Second Omicron wave fizzles as daily cases drop by a third but deaths creep up

THE UK’s daily Covid cases have risen by 35,926 today – a drop of 30 per cent compared to last Wednesday.Deaths have soared in today’s official..


THE UK’s daily Covid cases have risen by 35,926 today – a drop of 30 per cent compared to last Wednesday.

Deaths have soared in today’s official figures, with an extra 651 tragic fatalities logged.

Today’s statistics include a number of deaths that weren’t in yesterday’s report, due to a delay.

However, fatalities have almost hit 2,000 in the last seven days.

A rise in deaths always tragically follows an increase in cases, with the latest wave peaking at the end of last month.

And a percentage of these will have had Covid as a secondary issue, with another ailment as the primary reason they were ill.

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It comes after NHS chiefs have called for the return of masks and free Covid tests to keep infections down.

They rose to record highs in recent weeks, with one in 12 people in England having the bug in March.

Most thankfully recovered at home with the milder strain of Omicron and extra protection from vaccines.

Falling cases are now coinciding with the stop on free testing – but the rise had already started to dip in the run up.

All restrictions were scrapped earlier this year, and free testing stopped for the majority of England last month.

The number of patients in hospital with the bug has risen, leading for medics to insist some restrictions are brought back in.

Cases rose as people were able to mingle more freely, with the knock on effect now being seen in hospitals.

This was sparked by both the emergence of BA.2 – Omicron’s subvariant which can spread even faster and get around vaccines – and people mixing more freely.

For the majority of people who catch the virus, especially the vaccinated, they will recover at home with a milder illness than with previous strains.

Sajid Javid said the rise was to be expected after restrictions were lifted, and the Government isn’t overly concerned due to Omicron causing a milder illness.

Vaccines are the best line of defence, health bosses say, with a new study showing symptoms in the triple jabbed last on average half as long as a common cold.

Spring boosters are being dished out for certain groups in society, to keep their immunity high.

Free tests have now ended for the majority of people in England, with Brits being asked to be responsible with any illness that pops up.

Only the vulnerable, including those in high-risk jobs and with health conditions, will be eligible to pick up swabs without paying.

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Everyone else in England now has to pay around £1 for a single swab or a tenner for a pack, to check if they have the virus.

Covid isolation rules have now changed, too. Confirmed cases are advised to stay at home for five days, when they are most infectious.